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17+ years for 10 bank robberies

TRENTON -

Within two months in 2008, the Commerce Bank on Kingsland St. in Nutley was robbed twice by the same bandit.

Last week, the culprit, Maurice Richardson, 43, of Irvington, was sentenced to 207 months in prison after pleading guilty in federal court to those heists and eight others in New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Richardson was arrested Dec. 1, 2010, after he robbed a Capital One bank in Marlboro — the third time he had hit that particular branch in less than two years.

The Nutley robberies occurred July 27 and Sept. 28, 2008.

Richardson’s spree, which had begun in December 2007, also included banks in Morris Township, Rahway, Hasbrouck Heights, Howell and Paramus.

According to case documents and statements made in court: Richardson entered the banks and gave notes to the tellers, “which variously demanded money in large bills, stated that he had a gun, and threatened he would shoot the tellers if they did not comply.”

Witnesses at some of the robberies observed the bandit fleeing in a burgundy SUV.

On Dec. 1, 2010, after the third Marlboro Capital One robbery, a local police officer observed a burgundy Chevrolet Suburban exiting a street adjacent to the bank’s parking lot. After a mile-long pursuit, the SUV hit a concrete wall. Richardson was nabbed as he attempted to flee on foot. A 9mm bullet was found in the SUV, and a 9mm handgun was found in the area of the crash.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton sentenced Richardson to three years’ supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $50,646.

Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez in Newark, with the investigation leading to the conviction. The Nutley Police Department was also among the law enforcement agencies Fishman thanked.

– Karen Zautyk

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